Man arrested with 76 pangolins

Man arrested with 76 pangolins

A pickup driver was arrested with 75 live pangolins concealed under lumber in Prachuap Khiri Khan on Saturday night. (Photo by Chaiwat Satyaem)
A pickup driver was arrested with 75 live pangolins concealed under lumber in Prachuap Khiri Khan on Saturday night. (Photo by Chaiwat Satyaem)

PRACHUAP KHIRI KHAN: Police found 76 live pangolins concealed in a pickup truck at a checkpoint in Sam Roi Yot district of this lower Central province on Saturday night, police said. The driver was arrested.

Pol Col Chalermwut Wongwiangchan, the Sam Roi Yot police chief, said the pick-up appeared to be loaded with lumber. It was stopped for a search at about 8pm at the checkpoint in front of Sam Roi Yot police station.

Underneath the lumber, police found 18 net sacks containing a total of 76 live pangolins.

Sompol Mekchai, 45, the pick-up driver, confessed he was hired to pick up the protected animals from a spot in tambon Khlong Wan and deliver them to a rendezvous in Muang district of Prachuap Khiri Khan, police said.

The man, from Ratchaburi province's Pak Tho district, said he had been hired three times, for 8,000 baht each time, to make the deliveries. The first two had been successful.

He was charged with having protected animals in possession in violation of the Wildlife Act of 1992.

The pangolins would be sent to the Huay Sai wildlife breeding station in Phetchaburi before being released into the wild.


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